32 Kid-Friendly Things To Do This Weekend


Summer may be winding down, but we’re filling our bucket list with a bunch of family-friendly activities to enjoy this week. Feast on zeppoles and meatball subs at the largest American Street Festival in Jersey City at the La Festa Italiana in Jersey City or take part in a salsa dance party at the New Brunswick Heart Festival in New Brunswick or catch the rides and watch the fireworks show at Saltwater Day in Laurence Harbor. And for more to keep your calendar full, don’t miss our Free Things To Do in August Guide.

Featured Photo Credit: Istock/Different perspectives on life

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(Note: Since COVID-19 rules and regulations are continually changing, it’s best to check ahead for in-person events)

New Jersey State Fair: Sussex County Farm and Horse Show
August 7-14 from 10 AM-10 PM

Rain or shine, the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show is here. Enjoy events such as the Lumberjack Competition, Dialed Action Sports Bike Stunt Grandstand Show, Tractor Pull, and so much more. There are additional events such as the Demo Derby and Monster Truck Show too.
Cost: adults $14, veterans/active military $7, children (6-12) $6, and 60+ $10 and parking is always free (discounts are available on select days, additional tickets to events like the Demo Derby and the Carnival Mega Pass are also available.
New Jersey State Fair – 37 Plains Road, Augusta, NJ 07822
(973) 948-5500

La Festa Italiana
August 11-15
Get your zeppole and pizza slice—it’s time for Jersey City’s largest Italian American Street Festival. There will be live music, games, and plenty of Italian food to fill up on.
Cost: Free
344 Sixth Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 795-0120

45th Anniversary Italian American Association of the Township of Ocean
August 11-15 from 5 PM-11 PM
Bring the whole family to celebrate the 45th-anniversary of this festival, honoring Italian heritage and culture in Ocean Township. There will be Friday night fireworks, rides, attractions, and more. Parking is free.
Cost: Free
Joe Palaia Park – 200 Whalepond Road, Oakhurst, NJ 07755
(732) 517-1040

Passaic County Fair
August 12-15 

The Passaic County Fair boasts four days of unique activities for all to enjoy — from games and rides to art activities and environmental excursions. There will also be live music, face painting, bouncy houses, and touch-a-truck activities.
Cost: The fair is free, but there is a parking fee.
Mountain Reservation, 8 Mountain Ave., Woodland Park, NJ 07427
(973) 881-4405

Pop-Up Storytime in the Park and Food Truck Friday
August 13 at 10:30 AM
Your kiddos can enjoy a special pop-up storytime from the Recreation Department and Cherry Hill Public Library. Then stick around for Food Truck Friday at Croft Farm.
Cost: Free
Croft Farm – 100 Bortons Mill Road, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
(856) 488-7868

Free Canoes and Kayaks at Scotland Run Park
August 14 and 15 from 9 AM-3 PM

Spend the day on the water—-the whole family can paddle a canoe or hop in a kayak this weekend for free. First come, first serve, and all children 14 or younger must be accompanied by an adult. They provide life jackets and paddles, but you must print out a waiver and fill it out before your visit.
Cost: Free
980 E. Academy St., Clayton, NJ 08312
(856) 251-6710

Historic Battery Lewis Tours
August 14 from 10 AM-4 PM and August 15 from 1 PM-3 PM
Come and tour the newly restored Historic Battery Lewis in the Rocky Point section of Hartshorne Wood Park. Learn all about the history of this former coastal defense site. 
Cost: Free
1402 Portland Road, Highlands, NJ 07732
(732) 872-0336

Potato Harvest at Howell History Living Farm
August 14 from 10 AM-4 PM
Get ready to help the farmers and follow behind the potato plow as workhorses Bill and Jesse unearth rows of potatoes for picking. Visitors can grab their bushel basket to help collect, clean, and sort the crop to get it ready to deliver to local soup kitchens and pantries. Some potatoes will be saved to make into potato chips too.
Cost: Free 

70 Woodens Lane, Hopewell Twp., NJ 08530
(609) 737-3299

Kids and Critters Animal Show
August 14 at 11 AM
Little your littles participate in a live animal show featuring snakes and turtles. All ages can participate.
Cost: $1 per person
Cape May State Park, Pavilion by Nature Center

(609) 884-2159

Jersey Shore Food Truck Festival
August 14 and 15 from 11 AM-5 PM

It’s back—this popular foodie festival has everything from lobster rolls to empanadas with nearly 20 food trucks. There will also be music, live horse racing, and much more. No pets or coolers are allowed.
Cost: Free and parking is free too.
Monmouth Park – Oceanport Avenue, Oceanport, NJ 07757
(732) 222-5100

Free Family Movies Under The Stars in Sea Isle City
July 14, 21, and 28 at dusk

Get the family together and enjoy a movie under the stars. This event will be weekly through September.
Cost: Free
Excursion Park – JFK Blvd. and Pleasure Ave., Sea Isle City, 08243
(609) 263-8687

Second Saturday in Collingswood
August 14
The Second Saturday event began when a collection of store owners came together to promote the arts in Collingswood. Once a month, from March to December, visitors can plan a night on the town to experience arts, music, shopping, and dining in Collingswood. Don’t miss the local artists and musicians on each block.
Cost: Free
Haddon Ave., Collingswood, NJ 08108
(856) 854-0720

Craft Beer, Music, Crab Festival
August 14 and 15

It’s the 9th annual Craft Beer, Music, and Crab Festival in Cape May at the Emlen Physick Estate. There will be two days of craft beers, steamed crabs, music, and kids’ activities at this event.
Cost: Free
Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May, NJ 08204
(609) 884-5404

Saltwater Day
August 14 from 2 PM-10 PM

The whole family will love spending the day at this lively festival with arts, crafts, vendors, new rides, carnival games. There will be live music, tethered hot air balloons, and a fireworks show too. Rain or shine and shuttles are available.
Cost: Free, admission for the Beer Garden
Old Bridge Waterfront Park – 1729 NJ 35, Laurence Harbor, NJ 08879
(732) 721-5600 ext. 4999

New Brunswick Heart Festival
August 14 at 4 PM

Celebrate the arts and history of New Brunswick and Middlesex County. There will be live performances, including a salsa dance class party, Japanese black ink drawing with the Highland Park Arts Commission, yoga, fun giveaways, activities, and more.
Cost: Free
Virtual and In-Person at Monument Square – 2 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 246-7469

Bounce House Night at DiBello Winery
August 14 from 4 PM- 8 PM

Sip wine and enjoy the outdoors while your kiddos let their sillies out in the bounce house. Bring your own chairs, tents, and picnic—the rain date is August 15.
Cost: children need tickets for the bounce house; $10 plus tax. Adults are free.
229 Davidson Rd., Woolwich Township, NJ 08085
(609) 221-6201

Night Insect Exploration
August 14 from 8:30 PM-9:30 PM

Bring a flashlight and get ready to learn all about katydids, crickets, moths, and more for an after-dark bug hunt. This event is suitable for families with children ages five and up. Meet at the Park Office across from the main entrance to the Park on Route 23.
Cost: Free
High Point State Park, Park Office – 1480 NJ-23, Sussex, NJ 07461 

(973) 875-1471 or email highpointprograms@dep.nj.gov

Shoreline Cleanup
August 15 from 10 AM-12 PM

Ages 5 and up can participate in volunteer trail work to help clean up the shoreline at Liberty State Park.
Pre-registration is required, and dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes, bring water, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
Cost: Free
Liberty State Park, 275 Freedom Way
Please call (201) 915-3400 x503 or email LSPNatureCenter@dep.nj.gov

Big Joe Jersey Talent Show 2021 at Jenkinson’s
August 15 at 7 PM-8 PM

Every Sunday night through August 29, you can live out your America’s Got Talent dreams, show off your skills on stage, or observe others showcasing their talents. The Talent Show champion will be crowned on September 5, 2021. You can enter the Talent Show here.
Cost: Free
On the beach, by Jenkinson’s Aquarium, 300 Ocean Ave., Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
(732) 295-4334

Free Family Family Fun Night in Sea Isle City
August 16 from 7:30 PM-9 PM

Get the family together and have a family fun night at the shore. This event will be weekly through August.
Cost: Free
Excursion Park JFK Blvd. and Pleasure Ave., Sea Isle City, NJ 08243
(609) 263-8687

Fishing 101 – A Beginner’s Guide to Fishing
August 17 from 10 AM-2 PM
Cast, rig, bait, and maybe even catch your first fish with this beginner’s guide to fishing at Manasquan Reservoir. This event is open to all ages, under 14, with an adult, and bait and tackle will be provided. A fishing license is required for ages 16-69. Register at the Manasquan Reservoir Bait Shop.
Cost: Free
311 Windeler Road, Howell, NJ 07731

(732) 919-0996

Willie Wonka Movie Night at Renault Winery
August 17 from 6 PM-8 PM
Will you win the golden ticket? Renault is hosting a movie night where each child will receive an exclusive chocolate bar, and one lucky winner will have a surprise inside. Kids mocktails, themed kids food features, and of course, vino for you too. Reservation required.
Cost: Free
72 N Bremen Ave.,
Egg Harbor City, NJ 08215
(609) 965-2111

Hillsborough Rotary Fair
August 17-21, fireworks August 20

The Annual Hillsborough Rotary Fair is back with fun for the whole family. Visit vendors, play games, grab some grub, and stick around for the fireworks on August 20.
Cost: $30 ride all night wristband
Hillsborough Promenade, 315 Route 206, Hillsborough Township, NJ 08844
(908) 334-9304

Family Fun Days Crafts & Collectibles Show at the Cape May Lighthouse
August 18 from 9 AM-2 PM
Crafts and collectibles featuring vendors and crafters from the northeast will fill Cape May in July and August.
Cost: Free
Cape May Lighthouse, 215 Lighthouse Ave., Cape May, NJ 08204
(609) 224-6066

Wacky Wednesday in Ocean City
August 18 from 10:30 AM-11:30 AM
Try something new every Wednesday in Ocean City. This week, there will be a Hawaiian Luau on August 11, a Prince and Princess Party on August 18, and finish the month with Taffy Sculpting on August 25. These events are open to all ages, but capacity is limited.
Cost: Free
Music Pier, Moorlyn Terrace and Boardwalk, Ocean City, NJ 08226

(609) 339-6111

Seining Along Sandy Hook Bay at Bayshore Waterfront Park
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday until August 28 from 11 AM-12 PM
Get ready for a hands-on nature program in Port Monmouth. Discover fish, crabs, and other sea creatures while pulling a long seine net along the edge of Sandy Hook Bay. Parents and guardians must supervise their children, and closed-toe shoes are required. Meet on the beach near the parking lot. Groups can also reserve a date.
Cost: Free
719 Port Monmouth Road, Port Monmouth, NJ 07758

(732) 787-3033

Kiddie Shows on the Beach at Jenkinson’s
Beginning Jun 28-August 30 at 7 PM

Starting in June, enjoy the first Kidde show from the ride park train station. Experience circus, comedy, and magic shows all summer long.
Cost: Free
300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
(732) 295-4334

Jenkinson’s Fireworks
Every Thursday at dark

Enjoy the sparkle, pop, and boom of the fireworks at Jenks. You can view them all along the Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk.
Cost: Free
300 Ocean Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
(732) 295-4334

Makers + Shakers Pop Up Market
Every Thursday-Sunday from 11 AM – 6 PM through September 5

Kick off the summer at this lively market where you can check out various local makers, artists, and designers selling handcrafted goods, clothing, jewelry & accessories, beauty products, art, photography, home goods, and so much more. The kids can also enjoy rides on the Carousel and don’t forget to visit the beach, restaurants, shops, and the boardwalk.
Cost: Free
52 Centennial Drive, Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 923-0100

Somerville Summer Stage
Every Saturday, May 29 until October 2 from 6 PM-9 PM

Bring chairs to this concert series, with a new performance every Saturday. Bob Lanza will play on July 3, Nick Ryan and The Mess on July 10, John Busse on July 17 on July 24, The Bryan Hansen Band will perform, and The Broadcasters will perform on July 31.
Cost: Free
Division Street, Somerville, NJ 08876

(908) 524-0104

RWJBarnabas Health: Cooking Classes for Kids
Dates and times vary depending on the program
Kids of all ages will love cooking up healthy treats in these virtual hands-on cooking classes (adult supervision required during class): Try Healthy Kids in Hannah’s Kitchen for kids 8-12, where they’ll learn to use a recipe, cook with nutritious ingredients, and utilize kitchen basics or try Taste Testers in Hannah’s Kitchen, a Mommy and Me style class for 2-4-year-olds.
Cost: Free
RWJBarnabas, Virtual
(973) 926-7371

Evenings on the Farm at Johnson Locust Hill Farm
Every Saturday and Sunday through August 28
Experience live music, a crafted food menu, Tomasello wine, lawn games, picnic space, late farm market, and ice cream window hours for the whole family. The farm trail will be open along with hayrides, and musicians change every week.
Cost: $9.95
2691 Monmouth Road, Jobstown, NJ 08041

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About Author

Melanie Bodner has always had a love for writing, but now she has a new love…being a mom. Before having her kids, Melanie was no stranger to writing or working with children. She wrote for a local newspaper as a reporter and taught English and Dance in a public school. Now Melanie enjoys spending time with her kids, doing yoga, writing and decorating her home. Check out her Instagram @burlapbythebeach.